Eastman Computer Music Center (ECMC)
CMP 225 :
Introduction to Computer Music Techniques
Course syllabus for
semester 1, fall 2014
Staff email addresses and phone numbers:
|Allan Schindler||aschindler AT esm.rochester.edu||274 1575|
|Clay Mettens ||mettensmusic AT gmail.com|| |
|Zach Sheets ||zachsheets91 AT gmail.com|| |
|Nikolas Jeleniauskas ||nikolas.jeleniauskas AT gmail.com|| |
|Michael Frazier||michaelfraziermusic@ AT mail.com|| |
|James Garber ||centurylife AT gmail.com|| |
|Jason Buchanan||jasontbuchanan AT gmail.com|| |
|Studio phone in room 53||274 1578|
(In all of the email addresses above, delete the word "AT" and the surrounding spaces,
and substitute the @ symbol.)
Some "emeritus" staff members who continue to provide valuable expertise and
assistance for ECMC concerts and activities, and whom you may get to know:
Matt Barbour, Steven Rice and Paul Coleman
The following course materials are available for your use in room 53 :
Texts for first semester work:
Logic Studio Instruments and Effects:
- Chapter 4 : Dynamics
- Chapter 5 : EQ
Labs and individual studio work:
Practice recording microphone signals into soundfiles with Logic
editing these soundfile recordings in Logic and using them in mixes.
Also practice creating regions and markers, adding EQ and compression, using
automation and using the Mackie MCU Pro Master control surface.
Listening assignment: Kaija Saariaho, Nymphea
(Listen especially for the real-time processing of the
Assignment for Test 2, due the week of November 3, 5:
Create two sequencing "projects" with
Logic, each about 20 seconds in duration. One of these mixes should
be in stereo, the other in 5.1 surround format (covered next week).
Within each of these mixes:
Your sequences will be evaluated on musical as well as technical criteria.
Use a variety of signal processing
techniques, but don't go overboard. (I hope to hear some unique and
thoughtful musical ideas and threads, not merely a catalog of "special effects" and echos.)
Perhaps you will be able
to incorporate some of this assignment into your semester project.
- Use at least four sound sources. At least two of these sources must be
soundfiles you have recorded with a mic from acoustic sound sources. If you
wish, the others can be sounds from the ECMC sflib collection
or from some other pre-recorded source
- Apply some signal processing techniques to modify these sound sources,
using DSP effects available in
Logic (e.g. EQ, noise gating,
time compression and expansion, pitch shifting, room simulators and
reverberation, using only
regions of longer soundfiles, and so on).
During this appointment you also will be asked to edit one of your
Logic project files, applying temporary changes.
Week 8 : October 21, 23 : Further work with Logic
Tues: Effects processing: delay lines, distortion, modulation,
pitch effects and reverberation; multichannel recording and playing; "surround sound" formats;
possibilities and problems with "surround sound" playback
Thurs: Creating 5.1 mixes in Logic; syncing video to audio in applications such as Logic;
discussion of some possibilities for your final projects;
pacing and timing; static and goal-oriented designs; notation ; planning a composition
- Logic Studio Instruments and Effects:
http://www.ecmc.rochester.edu/docs/docs/Logic_Studio_Instruments and Effects.pdf :
- Delay effects
- Modulation effects
- Pitch effects
- Reverb effects
- Distortion effects
- Logic Pro 9 User Manual:http://www.ecmc.rochester.edu/docs/Exploring.Logic.Pro9.pdf:
- Working with Surround
- [ Flex time editing ]
- [ Working with Video ]
Labs and individual studio work:
- Practice incorporating various types of effects processing in Logic projects
- Practice making 5.1 mixes with Logic.
Listening assignment: Paul Koonce, Pins
Final project assignment :
Begin planning your semester project. For most of you this
will consist of a short (2-5 minute) composition, using a variety of
acoustic sound sources and signal processing techniques. If you wish,
these sound sources can include sounds copied sflib or from the
studio CD library of sampled sound sources as well as microphone
signals. Eventually you will also be able to incorporate, if you wish,
some sounds from the Kontakt software synthesizer or the
k2000 hardware synthesizer (both to be covered in coming
weeks), but you should concentrate primarily on
acoustic rather than on MIDI sound sources.
The format for your project can be either
We will discuss your
project ideas during individual appointments next week.
- stereo, recorded to an audio compact disc, or else
- 5.1 surround, played from hard disk
- realtime performance (e.g. involving the GT3 or live mic processing)
- a work that includes video
Week 9 : October 28, 30 : Individual Appointments
No regular classes this week. Individual appointments to discuss your ideas and
sketches for a semester project.
Special events this week:
ECMC Concert, Monday October 27, 8:00 Hatch Recital Hall featuring
music of Rand Steiger :
Also on Monday October 27 : Composers' Symposium presentation by
Rand Steiger; time and room TBA.
PROJECTS ARE DUE for playing on MONDAY, DECEMBER 15.
Labs and individual studio work: Prepare for your graded appointment next week.
Week 10 : Nov. 4, 6 : TEST 2 covering Logic sequencing
No regular classes or labs this week.
time will be devoted to individual appointments in which you will play your
prepared Logic sequences (see week 7 assignment), and
to make some temporary edits and changes in these "project" files. In addition
to this prepared portion of the test, I will ask you a few questions on the
Boulez, Saariaho and Koonce listening examples.
Unit 4: Introduction to MIDI ; hardware and software synthesizers, samplers and controllers
Week 11 : November 11, 13 : MIDI synthesizers and samplers
Tues: Introduction to MIDI and basic MIDI resources of the studio; MIDI interfaces;
MIDI controllers: the Fatar keyboard controller; MIDI control messages, including velocity
sensitivity, aftertouch, pitch and modulation wheels and foot pedals;
how hardware and software samplers and synthesizers work; MIDI instruments included
Thurs: The Kontakt software sampler; using sounds from the Kontakt software sampler and built-in Logic MIDI
instruments in Logic sequences; recording, editing and processing MIDI data in Logic;
the piano roll, Score, Hyper Editor and Transform editors
- Kontakt class handout
- Logic Pro 9 User Manual:http://www.ecmc.rochester.edu/docs/Exploring.Logic.Pro9.pdf :
- Chapter 3 : Working with Instruments and Effects
- Chapter 5 : Recording MIDI
- Chapter 8 : Editing MIDI Events
- [Hosken: chapter 9, Note Messages, pages 145-155 only (up to
Labs and individual studio work:
- Learn how to use Kontakt both as a standalone sampler and as
a Logic plugin
- Practice creating MIDI sequences
Assignment for Test 3, due December 2 or 4 :
Create a short (ca. 20-40 second) Logic sequence using ONLY sound sources
from Kontakt and/or the built-in Logic MIDI instruments.
Include at least three different timbres.
This mini-project doesn't have to be complicated or fancy -- just competently and musically done
in terms of using MIDI sound sources and editing procedures.
You should be able to do the whole thing in 2 or 3 of hours.
Week 12 : Nov. 18, 20 : MIDI percussion controllers; Acoustical and psychoacoustical properties of sound
Tues: the dk10 MIDI percussion controller;
demonstration of the UPLEX microtonal MIDI controller
survey of some alternative MIDI controllers, and of sensor and actuator controllers
such as Arduino boards;
Thurs: In preparation for our work with synthesis techniques next semester we will
discuss some important acoustical and psychoacoustical principles; properties of
instrumental and vocal tones: amplitude and pitch envelopes; vibrato, tremolo
Reading assignment: the dk10 manual handout
Labs and individual studio work:
- Practice using the the dk10 controller to trigger percussive sounds, both in live
performance and within Logic sequences.
As part of your test on December 2 or 4 I may ask you to play the dk10.
- Continue work on your semester project.
Week 13 : Nov. 25 : Acoustical and psychoacoustical properties of sound (continued)
Tues: timbre, formants and other acoustical and psychoacoustical properties
that will be important in your work with synthesis techniques next semester
Thurs : No class. Happy Thanksgiving.
No labs this week.
Continue preparations for your test next week, and continue working on your
Week 14 : December 2, 4 : TEST 3 covering MIDI
No regular classes or labs this week. Individual appointments will include:
- Playing of your MIDI sequence (see week 11 assignment). You will be asked
to make some temporary changes or additions to this sequence using common MIDI
- I will ask you either to use the
dk10 to play sounds from either Kontakt or from built-in Logic
MIDI instruments, or else to play the UPLEX microtonal controller.
- I will ask you a couple of questions about the acoustical and psychoacoustical
topics and about MIDI that have discussed in class in this unit.
- Discussion of your progress to date on your final project.
Week 15 : December 9, 11 : Wrapping it up
Tues: Preparations for our end-of-semester concert; each of you will be asked
to discuss briefly what you are doing in your project and to play an excerpt from it.
Thurs: Class will not meet, but I will meet with many of you to help
you finish your semester project.
Labs will not meet, but the TAs will post office hours during which they will
be available to help you complete your semester projects.
If your project is on a cd, this disc is due by noon
on Monday, December 15.
If your project is a multichannel or realtime work that must be
played from hard disk, it must be ready to be copied to one of
our laptops by noon on Sunday, December 14.
We will present a concert of works produced in the studios this term
on Monday afternoon, December 15 in room 120 at a time to be announced. Setup will
begin earlier a couple of hours before the concert, and
all of us will participate in setup and teardown after the concert.
Projects will be graded within a few days of their presentation on the class
concert, and can be picked up in the ECMC anytime afterward.
Enjoy your semester break!
- Back up all important soundfiles and other files you may wish to use in
the future onto data cds, a data dvd or a flash drive.
- Delete most of your soundfiles, including all large soundfile mixes, and
also large Logic "project" files, unless you
will be continuing to work with some of these files during the semester break
or at the very beginning of next semester. If you
will be using these soundfiles for further work during the next few weeks, let a staff member know
of your plans. Otherwise, we likely will delete these files in late December
or early January.